December 7, 2020-
Today was my first weekday without work, in quite a while. I toyed with taking a hike somewhere, but ended up focusing on getting my Christmas cards and message ready for mailing-actually getting a few of them sent out. I also organized the Beta version of my life story, with the draft now in the hands of its editor.
Otherwise, today was a day for taking stock of our debt of gratitude to a generation who, in a very real sense, saved the best of our way of life. The 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor once again put the spotlight on my parents’ generation. Two survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona are still alive. Several thousand veterans of World War II, as a whole, are still with us- including a dozen or so Code Talkers, from various First Nations and a small number of Tuskegee Airmen. All who served, regardless of their status in a then-segregated military, merit the appreciation of their countrymen.
Pearl Harbor, among all attacks on United States soil, remains perhaps the most infamous such event, if only because it came totally without warning-and at a time when good faith negotiations were underway between Imperial Japan and the United States. We saw, for the first time, a comprehensive plan for bringing a global conflict to North America. We saw the possibility of domination by forces whose philosophies of governance and economics were at variance with our own.
Because of the novelty of this attack, there were overreactions- Internment of Japanese-Americans being the worst of those. Mistakes get made, in dealing with situations with which we have no experience. Nonetheless, our country’s overall response to the attack on Pearl Harbor was rapid, intense and correct. Our continuing expressions of appreciation, for those who carried out that response, should never let up.